Warsaw 1942 to Gaza 2014 - Walls, fences and ethnic cleansing


On this day in 1942, the Nazi's began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the death camps, putting into practice the policy known as "the final solution". Over the next two months, over 250,000 residents were sent to Treblinka. 

The ghetto itself, was established in 1940, while Warsaw was occupied by Nazi forces, and 400,000 Jewish people lived here, in an area of 3.4 square kilometres. 

The ghetto was closed off from the rest of the city with barbed wire topped walls. Those caught trying to escape were shot on sight. Conditions were abysmal. Food rations were less than one third of what was allowed for non-Jewish Polish citizens and less than one tenth of what Germans received. Starvation and typhus were rife. 

By the end of the war, as we know, six million Jews had been murdered by the Nazi regime. The vast majority of the world's population said "never again." 

It is difficult to understand, therefore, how an ideology, that claims the heritage of the people who were persecuted by the Nazis, can oppress in such a ruthless manner, a whole people. 

The people of Gaza, like the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto, are trapped behind walls and barbed wire fences. They are held there with the guns of a technologically superior force pointed at them, because of their ethnicity. 

As bombs reign down from the sky, on streets, homes and hospitals with the intention of "cleansing" the land of one ethnic group for the benefit of another, particularly the ruling class of another, we can honour the victims of the Nazis, not by supporting the state that claims their heritage, but by opposing genocide, by resolutely reaffirming the slogan of 1945, "never again!". 

For a free Palestine, where Arabs and Jews can live side by side without persecution! For a world without walls and fences, without borders or nations!